Let's count all the ironies in last night's Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries has elevated twisting the knife to an art form. And last night's episode was a non-stop barrage of bitter ironies, in which everybody got tortured for our amusement. Honestly, this show doesn't get enough credit for how clever it is — some of the little reversals in last night's episode were actually quite subtle, and yet steeped in the characters and their lore.

Here's our list of all the weird little ironies and dagger-twists in last night's episode. Spoilers ahead...

Let's count all the ironies in last night's Vampire Diaries

Bill Forbes gets vamped the exact same way as his daughter
Remember how Caroline became a vampire? She was injured, and Damon gave her some vampire blood to heal her, and she was kept in the hospital overnight. Then Katherine showed up and killed her, to send a message to Elena — thus inadvertently turning her. So what happens to Bill? He gets injured, and gets some of Damon's blood to heal him. Then, while he's still in the hospital, someone (probably Katherine) comes and kills him, thus inadvertently turning him. What's different is how father and daughter deal with becoming vampires — see below.

Let's count all the ironies in last night's Vampire Diaries

This time, it's Elijah (and Klaus) hosting a "let's make peace" dinner
Remember when Elijah first came to Mystic Falls? And he came over to dinner with Stefan and Damon, and tried to make nice? Now Elijah's back, but this time Damon and Stefan are the ones going over to Elijah's for dinner, so they can pretend to be interested in a truce to buy more time for Bonnie and her mom to open Klaus' extra coffin. The positions are reversed, except that Damon and Stefan are still out of their leagues, as usual. Dinner is as full of betrayals and psychodrama and murder as these guys' dinners usually are.

Let's count all the ironies in last night's Vampire Diaries

Klaus is right about Elena.
Klaus is usually right about everything, and he's definitely right about Elena — the best thing that could happen to her is if both Salvatore brothers left her alone forever. It's kind of gutsy for a show about a love triangle to come out so clearly and say that both men in the love triangle are unworthy of the woman. (As Stefan actually did say, in so many words, last week.) I'm genuinely curious to see how this will go — Elena has been having a lot of sweet scenes with Matt lately, and he's clearly better for her than either Salvatore brother. Would this show actually have her wind up with neither Salvatore, even just for a while?

Let's count all the ironies in last night's Vampire Diaries

Elijah and Klaus had the very first "doppelganger" love triangle
Apparently not only do all the Petrova doppelgangers look alike, but they also all have love triangles with two brothers. Klaus and Elijah had the hots for the original Petrova, and her blood was used to make them into vampires — and it's a pretty hilarious twist that Klaus and Elijah give a lecture on "bros before hos" just as Stefan and Damon are failing miserably to put on a united front because of their Elena-related jealousy.

Let's count all the ironies in last night's Vampire Diaries

Elena can't save Alaric unless she admits she's a supernatural being
We're all used to feeling bad for Elena, a normal girl who's inextricably caught up in all this supernatural flim-flam. Except that Elena's not a normal girl — she's as supernatural as all the vampires, werewolves and hybrids, because she's the doppelganger. She takes a pretty huge risk murdering her surrogate father Alaric, on the theory that if she kills him, he'll come back to life thanks to his magic ring. But not only is it a huge gamble, it's also an admission, once and for all, that she's just as magical and freaky as all the other creatures in town.

Let's count all the ironies in last night's Vampire Diaries

Everybody overlooks the obvious suspect in the "Founder's Council" slayings
It's pretty hilarious watching Elena and Alaric get their Inspector Clouseau on. Especially the part where they say, "We'd have to be total idiots not to take this completely circumstantial evidence about Dr. Fell on face value." (Rule of thumb: Any time someone on Vampire Diaries says they're not going to be a total idiot, they're about to be a total idiot.) In any case, it's painfully obvious who's killing the Founder's Council — at least, assuming that Katherine's fingerprints are identical to Elena's, thanks to that whole "doppelganger" thing. Plus, we know that Katherine told Stefan to steal Klaus' coffins, and she's been pretty much AWOL since then, right? Half this episode, I kept wondering if Elena was really Katherine — although apparently not. But still, she's around, and probably slaughtering people for fun.

Let's count all the ironies in last night's Vampire Diaries

Bill Forbes embraces his daughter even as he chooses not to be like her
If you weren't moved to tears by the death of Bill Forbes, then I worry about you. Considering how few episodes he starred in, he feels like a major character now. He's gone from torturing his daughter for being a vampire to accepting her — without compromising who he is. I loved that he was able to accept Caroline, totally and with a real fatherly love, even as he completely rejects becoming like her. When she tells him that he'll be okay as a vampire because he's the strongest person she knows, and he responds that he's only strong because of his beliefs, I nearly died. The fact that they managed to show him remaining true to himself while also embracing the thing he hates most... That's some powerful writing right there.

Let's count all the ironies in last night's Vampire Diaries

Stefan has been torturing Elena because he loves her
Stefan finally admits that he still loves Elena — which was sort of obvious, from how pissy he's been to Damon lately. But even if he's been telegraphing it for a while, his admission is still fascinating. Because Stefan has been sort of relying a lot on the idea that his emotions are still totally turned off, and all he has now is rage and hatred, the basest feelings. He wants to "be the better villain," and that's why he did that crazy stunt with nearly driving Elena off the bridge where her parents died a while back. But in fact, he's still totally ruled by his love for her — and his love is what made him go out of his way to make her miserable.

Let's count all the ironies in last night's Vampire Diaries

The "secret weapon" against Klaus winds up saving him
Klaus has lost almost everything by the end of the episode. His siblings are all restored and totally united against him. They're sick of his lies and manipulation, and his egomania, and so on. And they're going to leave him behind, to be alone with his subservient hybrids. Until Klaus' mom, who everybody correctly guessed was the occupant of the final coffin, shows up. Klaus looks more freaked out and terrified than we've ever seen him, because he thinks his mom is going to kill him — after all, he killed her. And she's the "secret weapon" that Stefan and Damon have been counting on, all this time. But instead, Mama Original does a Tinkerbell Jesus Doctor and forgives Klaus, reuniting the whole family and stopping the other Originals from walking out. Umm... yay?